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The Walking Dead Comic Trading Cards - A Collectors Guide
Following on from the massive success of Cryptozoic's Walking Dead Series 1 trading cards in December 2011, based on the hugely successful AMC TV Series, in July 2012, Cryptozoic released a new set of Trading Cards based on Robert Kirkman's original Comic Book Series "The Walking Dead", with the cards based on the early comic book series originally published in 2003.
This set consisted of a 90 card base set of Black and White images from the comic series and one checklist card and follows Cryptozoic's standard format of 5 Cards per retail pack, 24 packs per box and 12 boxes per case.
This series has a number of chase sets, including a Foil parallel set of all 90 cards, 9x Killed In Action Cards, featuring comic images of 9x of the main characters who are killed during the course of the story. There is also a set of 9x mini fold-out colour Comic Covers and 5x Autograph cards featuring signatures of Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Sina Grace and Rus Wooton.
There is a very large array of Sketch Cards in this series release featuring unique artwork from 80 artists! Some are simple pencil sketches and some are full colour illustrations, all of which are an exceptional high standard, with each of the artists going through a rigorous acceptance program.
The set also features 61 unique redemption cards which can be redeemed from Cryptozoic, with R1-R25 being art cards personally signed by Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard and R26-R61 being oversized plate cards of various covers from the comic. As of February 2013, according to Cryptozoic's website, the majority of redemption cards have yet to be claimed, this may be explained by the number of sealed boxes still around and on sale from various collectors and dealers.
A further chase set which doesn't appear to have been overly promoted by Cryptozoic is the inclusion of 91 unique one-of-a-kind metal printing plate inserts which where used to create the cards, these feature the actual printing plate used in the production of each of the cards in the series (90 + checklist).
The published ratios of the chase cards are 1 per 24 packs for sketch cards, Special Inserts also 1 per 24 and Chase set (KIA and Comic Covers) inserts at 4 per 24 packs. The Printing Plates are a ratio of 1 in 576 packs.
3x Pre-release promotional cards were issued - P1 at Non-Sports Card Show Chicago in March 2012, P2 Non-Sport Update Magazine June/July 2012 and P3 San Diego Comic-Con in July 2012 Skybound Booth. Collectors who weren't able to pick these up can usually obtain via eBay or usual direct dealers for about $4/£2.50.
The Comic Trading Card series appears to be slightly less popular than the TV Series (based on availability and resale prices on sealed boxes), as of February 2013, Sealed boxes are typically retailing on eBay (or direct from dealers) for around $93/£60 - £125/£80 (Plus overseas shipping if based outside of the US, where most of these items are currently available).
Base Sets are generally available for around $15/£10 and chase cards around $5/£3 and sketch cards are variant on the quality and the artist, with prices starting at around £30 and going up at high as $780/£500!!
Cryptozoic released a really nice exclusive Trading Card Binder for the San Diego Comic Con 2012 which included a 91 card base set and exclusive SDCC P3 card. The release was limited to a 1000, however as of February 2013, there are still a number of dealers selling copies on eBay at around $40/£25 (although some are selling just the binder without the cards, so check before bidding).
There was also a very limited release (limited to 200?) of a binder featuring Carl Grimes pointing a handgun at advancing Zombies, which also includes limited edition puzzle cards. Due to limited numbers quite hard to find (as of February 2013, US dealer dacardworld.com had some for sale at around $75/£48 (plus shipping)
In February 2013, Cryptozoic have announced that Comic Series 2 will be released in Summer 2013 and promises to include yet more beautiful unique Sketch Cards and appears to be more of a focus on the cover art of the Walking Dead Comic Series, as early indications from Cryptozoic are that it will feature cover art from over 100 issues, so likely to be a full colour set.